This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2024-2025 VCU Bulletin. Courses that expose students to cutting-edge content and transformative learning may be added and notification of additional program approvals may be received prior to finalization. General education program content is also subject to change. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

Program goal

The M.Ed. in Counselor Education with a concentration in couples and family counseling is a 60-credit-hour program designed to prepare students for careers as counselors in clinics, health care centers, schools and private practice. The program focuses on training to address a range of personal and professional problems faced by individuals, couples and families through a systemic framework. The course sequence meets the educational requirements for both the licensed professional counselor and licensed marriage and family therapist as set by the state of Virginia Department of Health Professions. The couples and family counseling concentration meets the licensure requirements for other states, however certain states have different requirements. It is the responsibility of the student to check with the state licensure board to verify the necessary requirements to be eligible for licensure and to plan on meeting those requirements. The program requires a minimum of two years of study to complete.

The faculty makes every effort to assist students in individualizing a graduate program to match their professional needs and interests. However, individualization takes place in an environment of legitimate constraints revolving around institutional, accreditation and licensure requirements. Faculty members view each program as more than simply an aggregate of courses, and students should plan all program work with their faculty advisers.

Student learning outcomes

Counselor education core outcomes

  1. Students will obtain theoretical knowledge grounded in research and reflective of current national and state standards in the areas of individual and group counseling, human development, multicultural counseling, wellness, and career counseling.
  2. Students will develop the skills and knowledge to support and enhance students’ and clients’ resiliency from a multicultural framework.
  3. Students will demonstrate the knowledge and skills to be critical consumers of research in their roles as counselors.
  4. Students will develop and demonstrate advocacy, social justice and leadership skills through their professional development and extracurricular learning activities.
  5. Students will continue their personal and professional development by adhering to the professional ethical codes of professional counseling organizations and the counselor education program dispositions.

Couples and family counseling concentration specific outcome

  1. Students will demonstrate competency in counseling, assessment, program evaluation and consultation skills in community, couples and family settings.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Other information

Students accepted into the counselor education program must make satisfactory progress toward their degrees. Students who earn unsatisfactory grades and/or exhibit unprofessional conduct may be terminated from the program. More specific information about satisfactory academic progress can be found on this website.